How to Name a Sushi Restaurant
A step-by-step guide to coming up with a colorful, interesting name for a sushi restaurant.
Start a list.
Write down any ideas you already have.
You may already have some ideas for a sushi restaurant name. If so, go ahead and write them down.
You should already be familiar with Japanese culture before deciding to start a sushi restaurant. Choosing to learn about Japanese culture after starting your restaurant could result in a restaurant name that insults the community.
Highlight or star your favorites as you go.
This will make it easy to narrow down the list later, while letting you jot down all ideas that may spark something later on.
The words you add to the list don’t have to be fully formed sushi restaurant names. They can be a words or concepts related to the business that help you get to the final name.
Perform essential research before you name your sushi restaurant.
Review your business plan.
If you’ve got a business plan for your sushi restaurant, the research there should give you ideas for words, phrases, and concepts that fit your brand.
Talk to likely customers.
This is something you’ll want to do, no matter what, to learn more about the people you’ll be catering to. While you’re meeting with them, be sure to write down words, phrases, and concepts that they associate with a sushi restaurant.
Review words specific to a sushi restaurant.
Think about family names.
In Japanese culture, one of the most traditional ways of naming a restaurant is to use one's family name or last name.
Consider sushi themes and related words.
A lot of sushi names, particularly in English, use the word "sushi" or words related to sushi. Also, a common theme for sushi is the sea. Brainstorm keywords related to sushi, the sea, or fish.
Using an online thesaurus is a great way to brainstorm related words that you may have never thought of on your own.
Research traditional words or characters.
Dipping into Japanese culture is a great way to find interesting names for your sushi restaurant — especially when it comes to words that have become internationally recognized, such as "yakuza," "samurai," and "sakura."
Research Japanese stories as well as restaurants and cuisine to find words or phrases that appeal to you.
Keep a Japanese to English dictionary handy so that you don't choose any words with negative connotations. You can find a free Japanese - English dictionary online.
Think about puns or jokes.
Puns or jokes in both English and Japanese can be a fun way to name your restaurant while still keeping it thematic. Just be sure that any Japanese puns you use do not have negative or inappropriate meanings.
Think outside the box.
Sushi restaurant names can be pretty flexible, and non-thematic names also work. Look around you — sometimes inspiration can come from unlikely sources.
Brainstorm region-specific vocabulary.
Try city and state names and nicknames.
Cities and city nicknames can sometimes work well for a local sushi restaurant. For example, "Haines Sushi," after the city of Haines in Alaska, or "Sweetest Sushi in Town," after Clewiston, Florida's nickname of America's Sweetest Town.
Consider your street name if you’ve got a location.
A street name can help people find your sushi restaurant, make naming easy, and connect it to a neighborhood or sense of place. For example, "2nd Street Sushi" or "Avenue 55" (the logo for the latter could have two koi fish as the numbers!).
You'll want to be sure you'll be at this location for a long time. You don't want to call yourself "2nd St. Sushi" if you have to move to 3rd St. a few years later.
Review local landmarks.
Local landmarks can be another great way to tie your sushi restaurant to its location. For example, "Golden Gate Sushi" or "Hudson Tempura."
Create more name ideas from your list.
Combine words from the list.
Try combining various words from your list to see if they form any interesting names. There is really no limit or rules to naming your sushi restaurant, so be creative.
Use a name generator.
NameSnack can help combine your ideas and make associations that you wouldn't have thought of.
NameSnack's AI will prompt you to add different words. You can try adding them all, or go with smaller groups.
Write down any sushi restaurant names you like.
NameSnack will also tell you if the domains are available. Check the ones that have domains off on your list.
Review and reflect.
Read through your list again.
See if there are any others that stand out, and mark them.
Set the list aside for a day or two.
Come back with fresh eyes and see which names stand out. Also, see which names you still remember. This may give you a clue as to which ones are most memorable.
Check if your names are culturally respectful and appropriate.
Make sure that the name and restaurant, in general, will be received well by the community.
Get feedback on your top sushi restaurant names.
See what potential customers think of the names.
See how your target audience reacts to different names.
Survey people who are going into sushi restaurants (ask the owner's permission for waiting outside their restaurant first). You can also try Facebook groups related to the sushi restaurant industry.
Test the names on friends and colleagues.
Read your names to friends and colleagues, and get their take on your sushi restaurant names. Come back a day or two later and see which ones they still remember.
See if the web domain name is available.
Use a site like Namecheap to see which of your top business name ideas have a related URL available.
See if the name is already in use in your state.
If the business name is already in use for a similar business in your state, it's likely you won't be able to use it.
Check the names on Google.
Google your favorite sushi restaurant names to see if there are any other well-known sushi restaurants with the same name, or if there are some associations you hadn’t thought of. Remember to also check for Japanese associations that may affect your business.
Get the name.
Buy the domain name.
You can do this through sites like Namecheap.
Register the business name with the state.
You'll need to register the name in your state once you've chosen it. In most states this is fast and easy, and can be done online.
Consider trademarking the name.
This offers additional protection from other businesses using your sushi restaurant name.
Learn more about trademarking your business name.